In 1976, Coal Miner's Daughter, country star Loretta Lynn's autobiography (written with journalist George Vecsey) became a New York Times Bestseller; in 1980 the book was made into an Academy Award-winning film starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. Now, it's headed for Broadway, with actress Zooey Deschanel playing Loretta Lynn.
The announcement came on the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium during Opry Country Classics Thursday night. Following the announcement, Ms. Deschanel joined the country music icon onstage for a duet of "Coal Miner's Daughter."
The onstage announcement and performance mirrored the 1979 Grand Ole Opry appearance where Ms. Lynn invited a young Sissy Spacek onstage to announce that she had chosen the actress to portray her in the forthcoming film. Ms. Spacek went on to win the Academy Award for her performance.
"It's a long way from Butcher Holler to Broadway in New York City. I never imagined I'd see Coal Miner's Daughter on a movie screen, and now I can't believe it's going to be on a stage for people to see," says Ms. Lynn. "I'm going to be right there in the front row. And I know Zooey is going to be great – she sings and writes her own songs just like I do, and we even have the same color eyes!"
"Loretta Lynn and her music have been inspirations for me for as long as I can remember," said Ms. Deschanel. "She is a true legend and to be chosen to play such an iconic woman is a dream come true."
Zooey Deschanel and Loretta Lynn photo by Russ Harrington
Coal Miner's Daughter will be brought to the stage by Fox Theatricals (Kristin Caskey and Mike Isaacson) and Scott Sanders Productions, which have collectively brought some of the biggest hits to the stage, including Legally Blonde, The Color Purple, Red, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, and the current revival of Evita starring Ricky Martin.
The creative team and dates for the production will be announced in the coming months. The schedule will not conflict with Ms. Deschanel's current commitment to the hit FOX TV show, "New Girl," on which she stars and produces.
Visit www.CoalMinersDaughterBroadway.com for more information.
A Golden Globe nominated actress as well as a Grammy nominated musician, Zooey Deschanel is currently the star of the hit Fox series, "New Girl," for which she also serves as a producer. Her many film credits include (500) Days of Summer opposite Joseph Gordon Levitt; Almost Famous opposite Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand; All the Real Girls, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Lead Actress; The Good Girl with Jennifer Aniston; Eulogy with Debra Winger and Ray Romano; and Elf, opposite Will Ferrell. She made her feature film debut in 1999 in Lawrence Kasdan's ensemble drama Mumford.